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The East-West dichotomy

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The East-West dichotomy


The East-West dichotomy is a philosophical concept of ancient origin claiming that the two cultural hemispheres, East and West, developed diametrically opposed, one from the particular to the universal and the other from the universal to the particular; the East is more inductive while the West is more deductive. Together they form an equilibrium.

# Featuring defining and thought-provoking chapters on:
* History
* Induction & deduction
* Asia-centrism
* Equilibrium
* Demography & Migration
* Cultural effects of the dichotomy
* Two successful models
* Two incommensurable realities
* The theory of power and to whom it belongs
* The problem of standard
* A loveless Darwinian desert
* The psychology of communion
* The problem with Nature
* Ideology, Gender and many more...

# Including over 345 references and hundreds of quotes from historical personalities

# Becoming the standard work on the East-West discourse

Language English
Collection opensource


Reviewer: fvckdanation - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 26, 2011
Subject: Excellent videos! Congratulations!
Simply put no one like a super power, probably out of fear or jealousy, jealousy in not being the superpower. These things go round in cycles, don't blame the nation who is doing the bullying, blame human nature. We are all guilty of bullying in one way or another.
Reviewer: orientalman - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 25, 2010
Subject: Ex Occidente Lex, Ex Oriente Lux
From the West law, from the East light!
Reviewer: BoloResartus - favoritefavorite - May 25, 2010
Subject: not a good introduction to the subject
This reads like a badly written term paper
done by a high school student.

The skew given to history, the lousy spelling,
and the basal ignorance of the Chinese civilization
and its place in the world means you should seek
elsewhere if you are looking for an introduction
to the subject matter.

At least read Harold Lamb on Genghis Khan first
before buying into the premise of Western dominance. The only thing you will get from this
is propaganda for an incorrect viewpoint.
Reviewer: GAPP - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 25, 2010
Subject: variety is the essence
We not only have to deal with cultural differences but with gender, religious (catholic vs Protestant etc.), generational, subcultural etc & etc differences. Why just focus on the east-west divide. We also have West-west & East-East divides. Now we also have to deal with the able bodied versus the "rest" (we have ignored "the rest" long enough). Guess what? we are now enjoying the contributions made by our less fortunate. We just had to give them a chance. I could go on. We live with variety. We should celebrate variety. Variety is the essential substrate on which evolution works. Let us learn to deal with it "intelligently" & "compassionately" not how to destroy it for the sake of homogeneity - because that will definitely mark us for extinction (ie Nazism). A group that is doing well now doesn't necessarily do so for all times. But if the so call advanced cultures think that they can stay put (ie stagnate) they will not stay advanced for long. If the so called backward cultures insist on staying militantly "traditional" - open your eyes for there are many of your kind that don't share your closed mindedness. There is nothing wrong with change (or even with tradition within reason). Variation and change go together. All it needs is an open mind. Where does it say in any holy book that all change is evil? For sure some changes are not as good as others - but let us affirm each other. If you feel threatened by differences? by change? I have one message for you. If you have to coerce someone to a cause, you are admitting failure. If you say God created th world, then he also created the east, west, male, female, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism etc & etc. It defies understanding to say that only one specific version of creation stands when the facts are there for everyone to SEE.
Reviewer: xXJoOeXx - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 20, 2009
Subject: p;
good bless Germans for theres crazyness 10/5 !!
Reviewer: Holger_P - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 15, 2009
Subject: Bravo!
Resourceful, relentless, visionary.
Reviewer: soleil&lune - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 14, 2009
Subject: The best way to keep peace... to respect other cultures and not impose one's values forcefully on them, like in the colonial past. European culture is slowly changing and not enough children, but Muslim culture is thriving and very dominant. Also Chinese is very dominant. Look how they are abroad. They don't change much. Why should they?
Reviewer: elenore - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 13, 2009
Subject: Excellent!
I was drawn to this by curiosity and wasn't disappointed. I think the text is not too one-sided but rather well balanced. Of course it's satire. But lets face it there are many, many cultures who have struggled mightily, and to be accepted and seen as equals is the only peaceful solution to most of humankind's problems such as global warming, markets, research, politics and disaster help.
Reviewer: JOEWANG - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 12, 2009
Subject: A Western sub-culture
The book mentions "the US is a Western sub-culture", which I think is true. EU has a much older history, a bigger economy and is the cradle of Western civilization. The US is very young compared to Europe 2500 years of history, and a toddler compared to China and India 5000 years. As a Western newcomer the US tried to manipulate history and messed into every other country's affairs, but after so many wars it looks embarassing. Before Bush America stood for multi-culture. After Bush, it stands only for American. As a culture, they are matured. They can no longer arrogantly speak for the rest of us, only for themselves, one voice among many G20 states, which is a good thing.
Reviewer: Peace_Prize_For_Obama - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 11, 2009
Subject: Call for change!
This is a strong reminder that there is need for change! We are NOT all the same cultures, but we want the same rights! If the West really believes in world democracy, than the 1.5 billion Muslims, 1.1 billion Hindus, 1.5 billion Chinese and 2 billion other Asians and African people will have their vote one day! And they will vote with their feet not only in Asia, but where they live in US, French, Germany, GB, Australia, and everywhere!

To the West: No more wars, no more anti-Muslim or anti-Chinese policies, no more discrimination! Instead, we should choose the middle way! You have to learn from the East, not destroy our ancient cultures. Understanding it will make you wise and proud one day! We are all ONE humankind!
Reviewer: thoughtful_and_hopeful - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 10, 2009
Subject: Nice!
very good! Thank you!
Reviewer: xiaoxiaoyu - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 10, 2009
Subject: 对东西方文化的看法 季羡林
我们正处在一个新的“世纪末”中。上一个“世纪末”,19世纪的“世纪末”,在西方文学艺术等意识形态领域中出现过许多怪异现象,甚至有了“世纪末病”这样的名词,这是众所周知的事实。当前这一个“世纪末”怎样呢?我看也不例外。世界上许多国家和地区都出现了政治方面天翻地覆的变化,不能不令人感到吃惊。就是在意识形态领域内,也不平静。文化或文明的辩论或争论就很突出。许多不同的意见,如悬河泄水,滔滔不绝,五光十色,纷然杂陈。这样就形成了所谓“文化热”。在这一股难以抗御的“文化热”中,我以孤陋寡闻的“野孤”之身,虽无意随喜, 却实已被卷入其中。在许多会议上,在许多文章中,我多次谈到我对文化,特别是东方文化与西方文化的联系,以及东方文化在未来的新世纪中所起的作用和所占的地位等等的看法。这里,我想把这些看法简要地加以阐述。
我认为,在过去若干千年的人类历史上,民族和国家,不论大小久暂,几乎都在广义的文化方面做出了自己的贡献。这些贡献大小不同,性质不同,内容不同,影响不同,深浅不同,长短不同;但其为贡献则一也。人类的文化宝库是众多的民族或国家共同建造成的。使用一个文绉绉的术语,就是“文化多元主义”。主张世界上只有一个民族创造了文化,是法西斯分子的话,为我们所不能取。文化有一个很突出的特点,就是,文化一旦产生,立即向外扩散,也就是我们常说的“文化交流”。文化决不独占山头,进行割据,从而称王称霸,自以为“老子天下第一”,世袭珍藏,把自己孤立起来。文化是“天下为公”的。不管肤色,不择远近, 传播扩散。人类到了今天,之所以能随时进步,对大自然,对社会,对自己内心认识得越来越深入细致,为自己谋的福利越来越大,重要原因之一就是文化交流。
文化虽然千差万殊,各有各的特点:但却又能形成体系。特别相同、相似或相近的文化,组成了一个体系。据我个人的分法,纷纭复杂的文化,根据其共同之点,共可分为四个体系:中国文化体系,印度文化体系,阿拉伯伊斯兰文化体系,自古希腊、罗马一直到今天欧美的文化体系。再扩而大之,全人类文化又可以分为两大文化体系:前三者共同组成东方文化体系,后一者为西方文化体系。人类并没有创造出第三个大文化体系。东西两大文化体系有其共同点,也有不同之处。既然同为文化,当然有其共同点,兹不具论。其不同之处则亦颇显著。其最基本的差异的根源,我认为就在于思维方式之不同。东方主综合,西方主分析,倘若仔细推究,这种差异在各有所表现,不论是在人文社会科学中,还是在理工学科中。我这个观点曾招致不少的争论。有人也许认为,我和我们这种对文化和东西文化差异的看法,是当代或近代的产物。我自己过去就有过这种看法。实则不然。法国伊朗学者阿里·玛扎海里所著《丝绸之路》这一部巨著中有许多关于中国古代发明创造的论述,大多数为我们所不知。我在这里只引几段古代波斯人和阿拉伯人论述中国文化和希腊文化的话:由扎希兹转载的一种萨珊王朝(226—Ca.640年)的说法是:“希腊人除了理论之外从未创造过任何东西。他们未传授过任何艺术。中国人则相反。他们确实传授了所有的工艺,但他们确实没有任何科学理论。”(329页)继萨珊王朝之后,费尔多西、赛利比和比鲁尼等人都把丝绸织物、钢、砂浆、泥浆的发现一古脑儿地归于耶摩和耶摩赛德。但我们对于丝织物和钢刀的中国起源论坚信不疑。对于诸如泥浆——水泥等其余问题,它们有99%的可能性也是起源于中国。我们这样一来就可以理解安息——萨珊——阿拉伯——土库曼语中一句话的重大意义:“希腊人只有一只眼睛,唯有中国人才有两只眼睛。”约萨法·巴尔巴罗于1471年和1474年在波斯就曾听到过这样的说法。他同时还听说过这样一句学问深奥的表达形式:“希腊人仅懂得理论,唯有中国人才拥有技术。”(页376)关于一只眼睛和两只眼睛的说法,我还要补充一点:其他人同样也介绍了另外一种说法,它无疑是起源于摩尼教:“除了以他们的两只眼睛观察一切的中国人和仅以一只眼睛观察的希腊人之外,其他的所有民族都是瞎子。”(页 329)
尔德·斯宾格尔(Oswald Spengler)在1911年就预感到世界大战迫在眉睫。后来大战果然爆发。从1917年起,斯宾格尔就开始写《西方的没落》。书一出版,立即洛阳纸贵。他的基本想法是:文化都可以分为四个阶段:一,青春;二,生长;三,成熟;四,衰败。尽管他的推论方法,收集资料,还难免有主观唯心的色彩。但是,他毕竟有这一份勇气,有这一份睿智,敢预言当时如日中天的,他认为在世界历史上八个文化中唯一还有活力的文化也会“没落”。我们不能不对他表示敬意。美中不足的是,他还没有认识到东方文化和西方文化的存在和交流关系。(参阅齐世荣等译《西方的没落》上下册,商务印书馆,1995年)在西方,继斯宾格尔而起的是英国历史学家汤因比(Amold J.Toynbee,1889—1975年)。他自称是受到了前者的影响。二人同样反对“欧洲中心主义”,是他们有先见卓识之处。汤因比继承了斯宾格尔的意见,认为文化——他称之为“文明”——都有生长一直到灭亡的过程。他把人类历史上的文明分为21种,有时又分为26种。这些意见都表述在他的巨著《历史研究》中(1934—1961年),共12卷。他比斯宾格尔高明之处,是引入东方文化的讨论。到了70年代,他同日本社会活动家池田大作对话时,更进一步加以发挥,寄希望于东方文化。(参阅《展望二十一世纪》,国际文化出版公司,1985年)我并不认为,斯宾格尔和汤因比——继他们之后欧美一些国家还有一批哲学家和历史学家、社会学家,赞成他们的意见,我在这里不具引——等的看法都百分之百正确。但在举世昏昏,特别是欧美人昏昏的情况下,唯独他们闪耀出一点灵光,是十分难能可贵的。他们的看法从大体上来看,我认为是正确的。如果借用上面提到的古代波斯和阿拉伯人的说法,我就想说:希腊人及其后代的那一只眼睛,闭上了一阵,现在又要睁开了。对西方的文化,鲁迅先生曾主张“拿来主义”。这个主义至今也没有过时。过去我们拿来,今天我们仍然拿来,只要拿得不过头,不把西方文化的糟粕和垃圾一并拿来,就是好事,就会对我们有利。但是,根据我上面讲的情况,我觉得,今天,在拿来主义的同时,我们应该提倡“送去主义”,而且应该定为重点。为了全体人类的福利,为了全体人类的未来,我们有义务要送去的,但我们决不会把糟粕和垃圾送给西方。《诗经·大雅》说:“投我以桃,报之以李。”西方文化给人类带来了一些好处。我们中国人,我们东方人,是懂得感恩图报的民族。我们决不会白吃白拿。那么,报些什么东西呢?送去些什么东西呢?送去的一定是我们东方文化中的精华。送去要有针对性,针对的就是我在上面提到的那一个西方文化产生的“危机”。光说“危机”,过于抽象。具体地说,应该说是“弊端”。近几百年以来,西方文化产生的弊端颇多,举其大者,如环境污染、大气污染、臭氧层破坏、生态平衡破坏、物种灭绝、人口爆炸、新疾病丛生、淡水资源匮乏,等等。此等弊端,如不纠正,则人类前途岌岌可危。弊端产生的根源,与西方文化的分析的思维方式有紧密联系。西方对为人类提供生存所需的大自然分析不息,穷追不息,提出了“征服自然”的口号。“天何言哉!”然而“天”——大自然却是能惩罚的,惩罚的结果就产生了上述诸种弊端。拯救之方,我认为是有的,这就是“改弦更张”、“改恶向善”,而这一点只有东方文化能做到。东方文化的基本思维方式是综合,表现在哲学上就是“天人合一”。宋代张载的《西铭》是一篇表现“天人合一”思想最精辟的文章:“乾称父,坤称母,子兹藐焉,乃混然中处。故天地之塞吾其体,天地之帅吾其性。民吾同胞,物吾与也。(下略)”韩国、日本、印度的哲学中也表达了同样的思想。总之,东方文化主张人与大自然是朋友,不是敌人,不能讲什么“征服”。只有在了解大自然,热爱大自然的条件下,才能伸手向大自然索取人类衣、食、住、行所需要的一切。也只有这样,人类的前途才有保障。我们要送给西方的就是这种我们文化中的精华。这就是我们“送去主义”的重要内容。倘若稍稍留意,人们就会发现,现在世界各国,不管出于什么动机,也不管是根据什么哲学,注意到上述弊端而又力求改变的人越来越多了。至于惊呼人口爆炸的文章,慨叹新疾病产生的议论,让人警惕环境污染、臭氧层破坏、生态平衡的破坏、淡水资源的匮乏等等的号召,几乎天天可见。人类变得聪明起来了,人类前途不是漆黑一片了。我想,世界各国每一个有心人,无不为之欢欣鼓舞。
Reviewer: HuanLUCY - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 6, 2009
Subject: 东方不败!
(^ 0 ^)
Reviewer: wang_guo_qing - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 6, 2009
Subject: Yeah, pretty cool!
Although definetly not pseudoscience. See Nisbett The Geography of Thought. But needless to say, now that Asia rise, and the West wish it had not, haha. ;-) Besides, it says "more" this and "more" that. It's fuzzy logic approximal rather than precise, becuase is sociology, not physics.
Reviewer: china_dog - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 5, 2009
Subject: A fair review
The chapter headings immediately draw attention. The text is short, but dense and straight to the point. Every important key-word, concept, idea, work and personality is in there. Having said that, it is more than just a text book. There has been some debate whether a line of good taste has been crossed here. The author warns against ‘totalities’, yet at the same time nurtures this one.

His experimintal seriousness with one of the most resilient“pseudysciences” (meaning it is not even considered science in the sciences) delivers plenty of absurd moments, but at times it is almost challenging the reader to giggle by pushing them outside their cultural comfort zone. “Is this all true?” you will ask yourself, and you’ll never find the answer because you, like the rest of us, are beyond cure culturally biased. Be prepared to get some perspective in oriental studies, but be also aware; some of the observations in this book are very offensive (depending on whether you pick your side), and it would not come as a big surprise if it were decried in some quarters.

It is not a perfect book, but I have never read anything quite like it.

Recommended if you like “The Decline of the West”, “Orientalism”, “Clash of Civilization”, or “Culture Matters" meets Michael Moore
Reviewer: newindika - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 3, 2009
Subject: Science meets spirituality...
...and danger looms.
Dark and provocative East West theatre!
Reviewer: cdf_becker - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 28, 2009
Subject: Interesting work
Straigthfoward and useful book about the east west slope in oriental studies. It not merely tells you the usual who, when and what, but – to my surprise the first time exactly – the why.
This why, the dichotomy, is an irrefutable proposition, as cold and timeless as that frozen Taoist symbol on the front cover. The author sticks so artistically and faithfully to its violent narrative that the reader is irrevocably drawn deeply into the subject matter.

Good for beginners, since it covers most areas. This download text is not complete though.
Reviewer: Linus88 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 24, 2009
Subject: Outstanding!
Pattberg is a novelist. This book takes your breath away, churns your stomach, and then leaves you with memories of unforgettable Mackinder, Tagore, Spengler, Gu Hongming, Ji Xianlin, Lu Xun, Gandhi, Russell (and hundred more) as well as perplexing ideas about east and west.

It is also a book you return to read again, and again, and it won't matter from which way you look at it, you will want to re-experience what is certain to become a classic.

(This review is based on the paperback version)
Reviewer: ahab just - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 23, 2009
Subject: Too one sided
Just because a book knocks the west way of thought does not automatically make it great.
Reviewer: carlton8888 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 13, 2009
Subject: Epic and entertaining!
The Dichotomy rules! ;-)
Reviewer: thecomedian - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 7, 2009
Subject: Good Luck!
The book is a polemic, and its main target is what Mr Pattberg describes as a Western distorted view of human life as monistic, that is, the idea that the West ranks as highest and final form of culture in the evolution of mankind.

As an antidote to this picture he treats the East-West divide as a fact as incontrovertible a fact as any in science, and offers plenty of historical figures who apparently thought that East and West are opposing, permanent forces in the development of “Culture”.

East and West, like the two cerebral hemispheres of our brain, are meant to be different, he argues, engaging areas of cognitive ability, history, psychology and many more that evolved (and developed further) in our distant ancestors (and their writings) over thousand of years ago.

But what exactly is the relevance of dichotomy in the international world today?

Mr Pattberg has some astonishing and intriguing surprises on this score: how many people are aware, for example, that so many world historians, philosophers and Nobel laureates of our time are subscribing to the dichotomy, even though Western liberal mainstream wants us to believe that we, the Americans, Russians, Chinese, Japanese and Indians are all the same.

This book explains the end of a disastrous period during which the Americans and Europeans gave the impressions of hoping the East (and its values) would dissolve or go away, if it were bombed, blamed, and corrected long and often enough.

A well-know journalist once said it is hard to define a good book, but “I know one, when I read it”. Something like this must be said about The East-West Dichotomy, and I can only hope it will get the attention it beyond doubt deserves.
Reviewer: Mia N - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 24, 2009
Subject: Holy smoke!
So glad this is in
Reviewer: seeed - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 23, 2009
Subject: Great stuff!
He is a former student of Ji Xianlin. I found this in the German 'Times':
Reviewer: Li Dazhao II - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 18, 2009
Subject: 东西二分法!!! Awesome! Well done!
Should be made compulsory reading in US. When I was exchange in the States, no one had ever heard about Lu Xun, Gu Hongming, or Ji Xianlin. Somebody's got to admit it, the east is very different in a good way. Whats the ISBN?
Reviewer: Wendy C. Gao - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 8, 2009
Subject: East is East, and West is West...
Sixteen years after the 'Clash of Civilizations', we get yet another daring interpretation of history: 'The East-West dichotomy'.

Well, I guess this is the work a lot of people have been asking for. Whenever I read those dodgy books on the West’s greatness, I’m always wondering: how come the East is still with us, and for so long. It’s because the East is great, too. Just in different ways. Had to be something like that.

Thorsten Pattberg, of Peking University, in mainly following Arnold Toynbee, Ji Xianlin, Okakura Kakuzo, and Joseph Needham’s conceptual contrasts between Eastern societies and Western societies adds support to the – controversial - hypothesis of the so-called East-West dichotomy which claims that the two cultural hemispheres, East and West, developed diametrically opposed, one from the particular to the universal and the other from the universal to the particular. We are informed that the East is more inductive while the West is more deductive. Together, according to Pattberg, they form an equilibrium. How so? I will not spoil you the tale.

Besides his meticulous research and original narrative, The East-West dichotomy could well be epoch-making work: As a concept it is shamelessly plausible. Some people will hate him for stepping on things. But it is clear that Pattberg did his homework and is provoking wherever he can. His criticisms of historical affairs are bold, honest and refreshingly merciless. Only a few propositions are over the top, and are they ever.

Save to say this is one of the most memorable, thought-provoking books with some of the most entertaining quotes I have read this year.

It's also here:

Two chapters, ‘Problems’ and ‘Future’ of the dichotomy, are missing in this version, sadly.
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by Frank DeSilva
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by Swami Vivekananda
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Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) Archive
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by Francis Parker Yockey
eye 637
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Community Texts
by Munir Mezyed and Prof. Abdul-Settar Abdul-Latif Al-Assady
eye 2,826
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Community Texts
by Jack Herer
eye 1,604
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Community Texts
by Thomas W. Arnold
eye 3,403
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Community Texts
eye 247
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